Dawson City, Yukon Friday, January 23, 1998

Fred and Palma Berger were named Mr. & Mrs. Yukon 1998 by the Yukon Order or Pioneers and the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society.

Feature Stories

Mr. & Mrs. Yukon 1998: Fred & Palma Berger
The Generators are Back at Full Power
Dawson Calls for Power Back-Up
Family Group Conferencing Group Aims for April Start-Up
Break In at Chapel
Dawson's Mayor Gets a Full Time Job
Dawson Supports Quest Musher with Equipment
Call for Dawson Volunteers to Raise Funds for Peter Zimmerman
Memories of the 1997 First Hunt
First Hunt Addresses Lifestyle Concerns
Drum Making
An Invitation to the Paris of the North
Dance, Dance, Dance!
The "Paris of the North"
Chefs Volunteering at Centennial Ball
Princess Cruise Donated to the Klondike Centennial Society
Traditions Lighten the Season
Editorial: Dawson to Ottawa: Wake Up!

Mr. & Mrs. Yukon 1998: Fred & Palma Berger

Fred was born in Vienna, Austria on January 5, 1933, and Palma was born in Roma, Australia on March 13, 1935.

Fred came to Yukon fortythree years ago. He worked for United Keno Hill Mines, Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation, Cassiar Asbestos, and Peel Plateau Exploration. For two years he worked at Franklin's Garage (Dawson City Motors) and in 1961, when the Bonanza Hotel was put up for sale, Fred bought it.

Palma, a school teacher, came to Dawson City with a girl friend when they were working their way across Canada, and both got jobs as barmaids at the Bonanza Hotel. With discipline being much different in a bar than in a classroom, Fred felt sorry for the inept barmaid and when Palma left Dawson, Fred pursued her to Vancouver and in 1964 they were married.

Palma and Fred returned to Dawson, where she taught school. Fred sold the Bonanza Hotel and spent the next several years working as a mechanic. While Fred was working for YTG he became Shop Steward and in 1974 he became the first Yukon Government Union's representative to go to the Canadian Labour Congress in Vancouver. From there Fred served on City Council, and then as MLA from 1974-1978 for the Klondike Riding as well as the leader of the N.D.P. in Yukon.

Some business interests that Fred and Palma were involved in were the Orpheum Theatre, which they purchased in 1966 and lost to the flood in 1979. They also opened the first Sears outlet in Dawson City which they ran from 1976 to 1985. Palma left the store in 1979 to become the Assistant Manager of the Liquor Store and Fred closed the outlet and opened Arctic Drugs. Other business interests since 1966 included mining, truck rentals, gold buying, airline agency, and from 1973 to 1994 they operated the Bus Depot for the various bus companies that had scheduled runs from Whitehorse to Dawson City.

Besides being extremely busy in business, Fred was Chairman of the Dawson City Chamber of Commerce for two years. In 1986 he was appointed as a Director to the Board of Yukon Energy Corporation and to Yukon Development Corporation at which he served for four years, and then became Chairman of each for the next three years. For four years he also headed the Klondike Steering Committee made up of diverse interest groups, which was conducting a study to plan the uses of the Klondike Valley.

Palma started the kindergarten in Dawson, which she ran or supervised for ten years. Palma was also a member and also chair of Dawson School Committee for about ten years. In addition to these endeavors Palma was also a member and, soon afterward the Chair of, the Dawson Campus Committee of Yukon College for ten years. She served on the Board of Governors for Yukon College, worked with the air cadets in Dawson City, was Chair of the Library Board, and a member of the Recreation Committee.

Palma was also involved with the Dawson newsletter, the "Klondike Korner", for many years, and a founding member of the "Klondike Sun" in 1989. Currently Palma is President of the "Klondike Sun" Board of Directors, and continues to be involved with the Museum, and various painting groups in Dawson City, and is currently manager of Dawson City Housing.

Fred and Palma have now been married for thirtythree years, and have one son, Tony Berger, who still resides in Dawson City. Fred and Palma moved from Dawson City six years ago, and now have a home in Bear Creek, south of where the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation had its operations. For these reasons, the Yukon Order or Pioneers and the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society have named Fred and Palma Berger, Mr. & Mrs. Yukon 1998.

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The Generators are Back at Full Power

Adapted from a report in the Whitehorse Star

A week after it was issued, a stand-by order from Dawson Mayor Glen Everitt, warning of potential electrical problems, was lifted on January 14, 1998. Everitt, who also chairs Dawson's Emergency Measures Organization, sent out the original order due a potential electrical shortage in the town.

According to a comment by Duncan Sinclair in the January 15 edition of the Whitehorse Star, the main generator's crankshaft had been running poorly, and upon inspection, appeared to have been cracked. Sinclair, the vice-president of policy and regulatory affairs at the YEC, said that the repaired generator went back into service at around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 13.

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Dawson Calls for Power Back-Up

by Dan Davidson
Sun Staff

The mayor of Dawson says he was just kidding when he called in to a popular radio swap-shop program yesterday to ask if anyone had a generator that could power the community of Dawson. The notion took his as a whim, a little something to "help me keep my sanity" after a frustrating day of dealing with the government and officials at the Yukon Energy Corporation. In mid -afternoon, after spending a good portion of the day on the telephone, Glen Everitt finally released a press statement that his staff had prepared for him earlier, indicating that Dawson was in potential jeopardy if the diesel units currently powering the town were to break down for any reason.

The concern stems from the fact that the community is already running on its back-up generating capacity as far as city officials can tell, and has been since December 29 when the large generator was taken off-line for maintenance which will probably take another week to complete. This work happens to have fallen in the midst of the coldest weather the town has seen so far this winter, and Everitt is concerned that things could get bad pretty quickly here if one of the generators now sustaining the system were to crash.

That's why he wants to see Yukon Energy Corp. truck in one of the five back-up generators it currently has on skids in Faro. He's offered to cover the cost of getting it here if that is the problem, but city staff believe it ought to be in place just in case. It would still take up to six hours to get one of these units on line if it were here, but Everitt figures that's better than the 24 hours or better it would take it if weren't already in place.

In the city's press release the potential problems are compared to the situation in Montreal, which has been the subject of the evening news for the last two days. In fact, the numbers would make it more manageable but the sheer cold would make it worse. The potential damage of freeze-up to private dwellings, to businesses or to the government's own 90 units of residential housing would be dramatic after a day without heat, whereas Everitt feels that 6 hours could be handled.

Everitt says it's clear in his mind that YEC does recognize the problem; they have been quietly contacting locals recently to determine what extra generating capacity there is in the community. Why bother with that, asks the mayor, if you're not worried? And if you're worried, even a little, why not move the generator?

While Everitt's current target happens to be YEC, which took over the electrical generation business in Dawson on January 1, he doesn't feel any better about the Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. YECL recently installed the nearly 30 year old equipment which now needs repairs, a hand-me-down from the one time mining town of Clinton Creek, and they knew, says Everitt, that it was a problem long before they handed the system over the the Yukon Energy Corp.

He admits that Dawson's far from being in the dark yet. YEC workers have told some people who called that they were had 40% more capacity than was needed here.

Everitt's understanding is that the station can put out 3.5 megawatts. That's about 1 megawatt more than is needed now, although Everitt claims the demand is rising at the cold continues.

Everitt's immediate concern is that this cold snap has a lot more people plugging in their cars, their water system's heat tapes and space heaters in their own homes to give their furnaces a boost.

"If one of the generators they're using now failed, we'd be operating at below 2 megawatts. That's not enough." When the city asked for backup the corporation refused.

"I'm not saying that one of them's going to go down," Everitt says, but he adds that it might, and the fact that YEC people were recently polling to see what was available here for backup makes him think that they see it as a possibility too.

So the city's press release, issued at 2 p.m., states that the back-up generators are "barely able to meet ... demand" and warns of the possibility of serious power shortages in the Dawson region. It requests that citizens cut back their use of electricity to ease the burden on the system and make sure they have battery operated radios on hand so they can monitor the situation on the emergency channel 91.1 fm from Friday morning. The city has moved into an Emergency Measures standby mode just in case, and is continuing to pressure YEC and YTG to move in the requested back-up equipment.

None of this has made Everitt very popular in Whitehorse. He says he's been "reamed out" by senior people at YEC and by one deputy minister since issuing the warning, using words that ought not to be a part of polite conversation in at least one case.

But he doesn't care about that: "Why wait for the bloody disaster?"

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Family Group Conferencing Group Aims for April Start-Up

by Cheryl Laing
Community Coordinator

Family Group Conferencing, an alternative way to handle some criminal and school disciplinary matters, is well on the way to becoming a reality in Dawson City. A dynamic and diverse group of community members are working together as a Steering Committee to develop Dawson's Family Group Conferencing program.

Volunteers came together to start work on designing a plan for Dawson following a community meeting in late October. At that meeting, Deputy Minister of Justice Stuart Whitley assured the seventy plus attendees that the Department of Justice would fully support such a program here based on the overwhelming support shown by Dawson citizens.

The Steering Committee, open to interested Dawson residents of all ages, has met twice thus far and has a full schedule of meetings planned for the upcoming months. Members are currently working on the overall structure of the program and the qualifications and training requirements for facilitators. Later issues will include developing a budget and consideration of how to include this process as part of the current disciplinary system at the Robert Service School. The Committee's goal is to have the program designed, facilitators trained, and the first case referrals by April, 1998.

Intense discussion at the most recent meeting centered around choosing a name for the Dawson process. Concern for keeping the development of the process always part of the community led some Committee members to suggest holding a community-wide contest to select the process name. Other members argued that the diverse Committee membership adequately represents the range of Community views.

In the end a majority of the Committee members present at the meeting voted to have the Committee make a decision. Suggestions from the Committee members included "Community Conferencing", "Dawson Group Conferencing", "Community Resolution Process" and "Resolution Conference". The two sub-committees will come up with their favorite choices and the total Steering Committee will decide on the name at the next general Steering Committee meeting on February 3rd. Community input is welcomed before the February meeting. Names submitted to the newspaper will be passed on to the Committee for consideration.

A 17 minute video titled "Real Justice" will soon be available for free rental at the Dawson City Video Store and another copy will be placed at the Dawson Community Library. All community members are urged to see the video. Citizens are also welcome to attend any Steering Committee meeting, or to become involved as a Committee member. Upcoming meetings are: Process Structure Task Group meetings Monday, January 19th and Monday January 26th at 7:30 PM; Facilitator Task Group meetings Sunday, January 18th at 2:00 PM and Tuesday, January 27th at 7:30 PM; full Steering Committee meetings are on Tuesday, February 3rd and Tuesday, February 10th.

At the February 10th meeting, guest Judge Heino Lilles will discuss his recommendations for the types of cases to refer to this process. All meetings are in the conference room at the Territorial Building on Front St. Questions and comments can be directed to Cheryl Laing, Community Coordinator, at PO Box 887, or at 993-6208.

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Break In at Chapel

by Anne Saunders
Sun Staff

Sometime between New Years Eve and Jan 1 a break-in occurred at the Richard Martin Chapel. Father John Tyrell discovered the damage the morning of Jan. 2 and phoned the R.C.M.P.

Someone had forced the door open, damaging the frame in the process and entered the building. A hasp had been broken from a cupboard and it is possible that some Communion wine was removed. The individual(s) then went through the entire building. It is not known if anything was stolen from the Thrift Shop.

The investigation is still being conducted. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the R.C.M.P. detachment at 993-5555.

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Dawson's Mayor Gets a Full Time Job

by Dan Davidson
Sun staff

Dawson's city council has decided to give its mayor a full time job. First reading was given on January 5 to a bylaw which would put Mayor Glen Everitt on salary at $39,000 yearly.

Councillor Shirley Pennell explained the bylaw, which passed a unanimous vote of all councillors, except the mayor, who had handed the chair to Pennell and walked away from the table for this particular issue.

"This bylaw (the indemnity bylaw) is ...being put on the floor and given first reading to give the mayor a salary and to make him a full time mayor," Pennell said.

Odd as it may seem, council has decided to take this step in order to save money and time. The regular per diem - daily remuneration for time spent totally on council business - will no longer be attached to the mayor's financial package and he will be on straight salary.

Currently the mayor receives a basic $14,000 indemnity, with additions of $100 per day when acting as city representative at meetings and and $50 for extra meetings outside the regular four that are held each month.

Last year's billings for extra remuneration were $24,000, bringing his earnings up to $38,000.

City manager Jim Kincaid said that putting the mayor on salary actually does represent a saving since Everitt would probably have earned in excess of $50,000 this year under the old system. The number of meetings which the mayor currently attends outside of Dawson on city business - negotiations in Whitehorse and Ottawa, as well as other trips - all fell under the category of extra work, over and above the regular council meetings with which the indemnity bylaw was designed to deal.

Everitt says he had nothing to do with proposing, writing or voting on the bylaw change, but he does understand why council decided to do it. In January alone this year, he will be absent from town for 10 days on city business. That would have cost the city $1,000 in addition to his regular mayor's honorarium. Last December (1997) if he had claimed for all the extra money he was entitled to, the cost would have been well over $3,000, all for necessary meetings and functions.

The bylaw is not in force yet, but will be up for discussion at the next public meeting of council on January 19 and could be ratified by February.

Everitt has been working pretty much full time as mayor since he was first elected to the office in a byelection in the fall of 1996. He had lately reached the point where he was thinking seriously about taking a part time job.

"I had been offered one and I was going to take it," he said.

It was councillor Eleanor VanBibber who first took the mayor to task for not billing as he should have: "He would have made more more if he just wrote it all down."

Jim Kincaid said this was certainly true. Councillors, Kincaid explained, get a $5,000 annual base and then either $50 or $100 per extra meeting depending on the length. All four other councillors together don't have as many obligations, and therefore, as many extra billings, as the mayor does.

Kincaid says the impact on the budget is nil. In fact, putting the mayor on a salary will probably save the town about $11,000 this year, based on the average number of meetings Everitt is already scheduled to attend. On top of that, the bylaw will save municipal staff the many hours of paperwork time that it takes to process the mayor's per diem billings.

Everitt is feeling a little bit awkward, as it is only three years since he and former councillor Denny Kobayashi spearheaded a move to quash Art Webster's bid to raise the base indemnity to $24,000 when he was mayor. Webster, of course, had per diem billings as well when eh was mayor, but has contacted the Sun to say that it never amounted to more than about $2500 above his base honorarium during his term.

Kincaid feels that the amount of time that Everitt puts in has been important in the raising the town's profile and getting issues resolved.

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Dawson Supports Quest Musher with Equipment

by Dan Davidson
Sun staff

The City of Dawson has become the owner of a dog sled. This may seem a little odd, but it is council's way of supporting Cor Guimond's Yukon Quest run this year.

City council had been asked to chip in some money to help the Dawson musher, but didn't feel it could contribute in that way. What has been organized instead is a purchase which will serve Guimond now and serve as a display attraction later.

Mayor Glen Everitt explained at the January 5 council meeting that the sled was a hand-made item which will be used by Guimond to run this year's Yukon Quest.

"It will carry a city flag as a sled sponsor. On his return - hopefully he'll win - it will be put on display and will have a plaque put above it which will say something like 'The City of Dawson's 1998 recognition of the importance of dog sledding to the Klondike'.

"That sled will also be available for any local musher to use for competition. They'll be able to come to council and get the use of that sled, with a signed agreement, free of charge."

Everitt envisions that some day the sled may sit at rest with a list of mushers beneath who have used it in successful races.

City manager Jim Kincaid indicated that the total cost of the sled and bag will be around $3,000.

Said Everitt, "We've created a small legacy with that purchase...and it is insured."

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Call for Dawson Volunteers to Raise Funds for Peter Zimmerman

by Anne Saunders
Sun Staff

While training his dogs recently in the Whitehorse area, Quest musher, Peter Zimmerman was involved in an accident in which he broke his neck. As a result of this, he had to spend some time in the intensive care unit in Vancouver General Hospital and will require extensive physiotherapy. Peter only very recently moved to the Yukon from Alaska . Due to an unfortunate technicality he has no medical coverage from the state. Due to not having adequate time to complete his application for landed immigrant status here, he is unable to receive coverage from Yukon medical and therefore does not have any medical coverage whatsoever. He is however, a land owning resident of the Yukon.

A Peter Zimmerman Trust Fund Committee has been set up in Whitehorse in order to raise funds to help him cover his extensive medical costs. The Committee is looking for volunteers in Dawson to create a Fund Raising Drive.

To this date, he is progressing and has some feeling in his arms but not in the fingers, feeling in his legs but no movement yet.

If you would like to help out contact Ron Tyler or Cass Blattler at 633-5756 or 633-2749 or Fax 867-633-2749.

Donations to the Peter Zimmerman Trust Fund account can be made locally at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce here in Dawson.

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Memories of the 1997 First Hunt

by Debbie Nagano
Tr'ondek Hwech'in Cultural Programs Coordinator

The "First Hunt Feast" was held on November 21, 97. The youth continued to learn how to prepare the meat and organize the feast. The elders and the community were invited and together the youth were honored with the recognition of a gift, with the Canadian Rangers, other helpers and our elders.

This is where the parents and community get involved, by assisting in organizing and preparing some of the food dishes. I would like to thank all the people that brought a dish-they were all delicious. Thank you to all the people who stayed and helped clean up. The commitment you show is a very positive effect.

This draws to the end of this cultural event. As the coordinator of this event, I would like to take this time to thank all of you for giving this task and your support throughout this event. If not for this, this event would be impossible.

Who benefited from this project

The youth and families of Dawson as a whole. By increasing the knowledge and respect for the wildlife and our environment, we increased the understanding and appreciation of the Tr'ondek Hwech'in cultural values. Through this project, we continued to develop a balance between traditional and contemporary roles.

When will this project take place again?

It will take place in the fall of 1998. There are no specific dates at this time as this project is dependent upon the Porcupine caribou's migration along the Dempster highway. As per previous hunts, we would be looking at either October or November 1998 to carry this out.

Project activities

The title "First Hunt" is not to imply this is the first time for the project. The meaning of the first hunt addresses the rights of passage to adulthood and the responsibilities attached in making wise decisions in the paths chosen in an individual's life. For the hunt, there will be 25 youth and 40-50 adults participating from the community. The traditional roles will be taught along with some necessary skills such as: cooking, hearing the stories from the elders, learning to skin, carve and hang the caribou, tracking and identify the sex of the caribou, bush survival skill, shooting skills, safety skills, radio and compass reading, drum making, learning about the environment of the Dempster highway, as well as learning more of the traditional games.

Respect for the roles and how they work together will be strongly emphasized. One with out the other makes the process incomplete. Respect for each other, the animal, and the land is a priority. All participants were shown how every part of the caribou is used and the significance o each part. The hunt acts as a retreat for the youth and the elders, thus bridging the gaps between reintroducing the traditional teachings and rekindling an interest in the Tr'ondek Hwech'in heritage. This in turn works to develop a sense of pride and a sense of belonging for all involved.

Again, I would like to thank all of you who took part by just coming up to Tombstone; even this shows your commitment and interest.

A big Mashi-Cho to our elders who are holding on to our culture and traditions and are willing to share all that they know to the youth. The only payment is the look in the youth's eyes and the eagerness to learn. Annie and Joe Henry, Peggy and Steve Kormendy Sr., Rita Drugan, J.J. VanBibber, Eliza Farr, Hilda Popadinic, Lena Christiansen.

Thank you to the youth for demanding such an event and your attention, enthusiasm, and your patience throughout.

Tyson Knutson, Douglas Fraser, Daniel Fraser, Daniel Mason, Carl Knutson, Kyle Sprokkeeff, Douglas Johnson, Misha Kennedy, Andrew Nagano, Reid Gaven, David Frazier, Adam Roberts, James Christiansen, Leon Sidney, Kyrie Nagano, Kyle Isaac,Colleen Taylor, Amie Taylor, Nicole Mason, R.J. Nagano, Austin Taylor, Clinton Taylor, Cory Taylor, Waylon Nagano, Tanner Sidney, Mado Derepentigny.

Thank you to the Dawson Rangers for their knowledge, support, kindness and their willingness to share.

John Mitchell and Shirley Peirson for your supplies and your two well behaved horses. Mike Taylor, Bobby Blanchard, Jackie Semple, Peter Nagano, Ian Fraser, Agata Franczak, Mitchell Strid.

Thank you to the other helpers for their commitment, support, and taking part. Don Tutin, Robert Farr for harvesting the one caribou for this feed the whole community at the feast, Victor Henry, David Hutton, Julia Morberg, Angie Joseph-Rear, Birdie Rear, Kim Joseph, Conservation Officers, Dave Wallace, R.C.M.P., Kelly Taylor, Joy Taylor, Andrew VanBibber, Ted James, Peter Joseph, Tommy Taylor, Bertha McLeod, John Bierlmeier, Norman Vittrekwa, Jimmy Anderson, Jimmy Roberts, Willy Gordon, Edith Henry, Richard Nagano, Michel Mason.

Thank you to all the Staff that stayed behind and held the office together and all the work that had to be done, and to the Staff who stayed right to the end of this project; Charles Eshleman, Youth and Recreation Corrdinator, Dina Nagano, Community Education Liaison Coordinator, Freda Roberts, NADAP Coordinator, Darren Taylor, Land Claims Mapper, Julia Farr, Cook, Pattie Sidney, Cook, Leanne Goodwin, Driver, Phil Gatensby Drum Maker.

Thank you to the funding agencies City of Dawson, Health Investment Fund, Government of Canada-DINA, First Nations and Inuit Science and Technology Camp Program, Tr'ondek Hwech'in, Tommy Taylor for the donation of salmon, Gas Shack for the propane, Bonanza Meat for getting our food list together, General Store for donating food, MacKenzie for the drums of gas, Mitch for the horse trailer, Jimmy Roberts for his trailer, also to those that brought out their trucks to haul the youth and supplies out and back in, the McDonald Lodge for their use of the bus.

Until next time, be good to yourself, you all deserve a pat on your back for a job well done!

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First Hunt Addresses Lifestyle Concerns

by Freda Roberts
NADAP Worker


Spending time in the cookshack on the Tr'ondek Hwech'in First Hunt. Photo provided by Tr'ondek Hwech'in

Addiction and destructive behaviors can develop and emerge as a result of the loss of traditional values, customs and lifestyles. This program focus on developing and creating positive alternatives, goals and nurtures individual goal setting skills, to create positive inner changes that would only support the self-worth and self esteem. By learning practical, proven skills would only assist and expand the individuals' creativity and self reliance, that would eventually make a significant difference in their young lives.

Hunting, trapping, storytelling, mentioning system, traditional games are only a few to promote individual pride in their Culture and have a sense of belonging. We all encourage the positive role models to work with our young people to assist and help them develop skills, for them to be able to identify certain concerns and to seek positive solutions, by developing and practicing communication skills, to acknowledge individual strengths by them practicing gun safety, mapping, trapping, snaring, drumming, Han songs and language, Indian bingo, setting up camp, buddy system, navigational exercise, and daily camp chores.

By continuing to teach and build positive relationships with others in the group, learning to work together will only guild trust and acceptance. As we all know that our "Culture is the healing process" and "Culture gives life meaning". Traditionally our people were one time very strong, grounded in their spirituality, strong ties and connection to the land and one another, this is where the individual will get their strength from.

By teaching the traditional values and customs of our culture will only continue to promote a strong sense of belonging and will help our youth to recognize their won strengths, their won ability to be responsible for their own choices and well-being. To rebuild and re integrate our Han language, ceremonies, beliefs, values and spirituality, this is to ensure that these are passed on to our future generations. By having certain knowledge and take pride in the diversity and richness of our Aboriginal Culture is most essential for our youth, for them to develop their own identitiy, purpose, have a sense of worth and to allow them to feel hope for the future.

Everyone pitched in and helped out in the packing of the camp gear and helping where they can. Each day was full with scheduled activities and full o people coming and going. A good time was had by all that participated and looking forward to future cultural activities. Mahse Cho NADAP C.

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Drum Making

By Phil Gatensby

The drum building workshop went well with the four boys. They showed great interest in the construction of the drum, as well as the history. There were four drums. built over the three days, starting from stretching the hide to cutting it, preparing the drum hoops, and putting them all together. Over the course of building the drums, I gave the youth some background of the drum and what place it held within our culture. How the drum was crucial part of our everyday life. How it was deep rooted in our spiritual beliefs and practices.

We ran into a little problem with the thickness of the hide, and the thinness of the drum hoops. Nothing that can't be fixed though. Some of the drum hoops warped when the hide shrunk, but I will get some thicker rims and we will re-string the drums that did warp. Overall, the workshop went very well.

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An Invitation to the Paris of the North

The Klondyke Centennial Society and the Centennial Ball Committee encourages you to celebrate the Centennial of the Klondike Gold Rush at the 1998 Centennial Ball reliving Dawson City--"The Paris of the North."

The ball will be held on Valentines' Day, Saturday, February 14, at the Arctic Brotherhood Hall (Diamond Tooth Gerties), transformed into a high-Victorian salon theatre.

This gala evening begins with cocktails enjoyed to the elegant sounds of a Jazz Trio at 6 P.M.

A sumptuous buffet dinner, prepared by Dawson's master chefs, Kevin Doerksen, Wade Simon and Bernard Schedler, will be served at 7 P.M. You will dance until 1 A.M. to the fabulous seven-piece Vancouver band, Tuxedo Junction.

Your ticket automatically makes you eligible for the Cruise Draw featuring a Caribbean or Alaskan cruise, donated by Princess Tours and a Silent Auction which will feature art by Yukon artists.

Tickets are $100 a couple, $50 single. Dress in the extravagant style of 1898 Paris.

Come! Meet Klondike personalities, Belinda Muroney and Swiftwater Bill Gates. Gamble with Big Alex MacDonald. Indulge yourself at the Palace of Sweets, the Champagne Fountain and treat your sweetheart with flowers from the Rose Cart.

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Dance, Dance, Dance!

By Lorie Sprokkreeff

Take out those dancing shoes and get your partner ready for Sunday, January 25th. Make it a date even-with your spouse or friend! That's right get off the couch and come to the Community Center at 2 P.M. for 2 hours of instruction and tips on a few dance steps.

Want to learn how to waltz, two step, polka and jive? If you're like me maybe it's time to let the man lead instead of you. One, tow, three, one, tow, three. Watch out for her toes! With so many "Balls" happening this year I think we all could use a little lesson in some dance steps. So why not come out?

The instructors are Dale and Grant Hartwick. There's a small fee of $5 a couple. And two hours guaranteed fun and learning.

If you want, Ladies, you might wear your long skirt and heels to see what it's like dancing in a long dress because there is a great difference. Men, you may want to bring your shoes too! See you then!

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The "Paris of the North"

By Carrie Haffey

Imagine this. Just before two A.M. the last waltz is announced and gentlemen hasten to find their "Sweet Valentine" for the "pleasure of this dance." The orchestra strikes up the music and suddenly the ballroom is alive with movement and colour. The dance floor is an art form which is made of tail coats swinging elegantly, and the rustle of richly adorned gowns swirling to the soft Sounds of the band. The last strains of the waltz bring the evening to a close and the dancers don their coats and wraps. They make their way outside to the brisk cool night air where their cars-not their carriages-will take them home. For this is 1998, not 1898. Few events will conjure up the spirit of 1898 more evocatively than the Klondike Centennial society's Ball, "The Paris of the North." complete with a live band, a gala buffet, and cameo appearances from some of our more favourite Klondike characters. Just as they did in '98, you will be able to present your sweetheart with chocolates from the "Palace of Sweets" and flowers from the "Rose Chariot." When you have had quite enough dancing you can lounge in the "Turkish Parlour" and let the champagne bubbles tickle your nose.

Dawson City will be abustle this Valentine's weekend, the Quest will be racing through, and on Friday there will be a casino night at Gerties. The reservations are flooding in, so if you would like to insure that you have your tickets to the ball, you can contact Carrie Haffey at (867) 993-1667, fax (867) 993-2002, or e-mail KCS@dawsoncity.net

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Chefs Volunteering at Centennial Ball

by Anne Saunders
Sun Staff

The Klondike Centennial Society is pleased to announce that not one, but three chefs have very generously offered to donate their time and equipment to the Centennial Ball to be held on Valentines Day.

Wade Simon from Klondike Kates, Bernard Schedler from the Downtown Hotel and Kevin Doerksen from the Triple J Hotel have agreed to work together to cater at the Ball.

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Princess Cruise Donated to the Klondike Centennial Society

The Klondike Visitors Association announced that Princess Tours has donated a Princess Cruise to the Caribbean or Alaska for the Klondike Centennial Society's 6th Annual Centennial Ball on February 14, 1998. The recipient gets to choose between a seven day Princess Cruise for two to Alaska or the Caribbean aboard a Princess Grand Class Cruise ship.

K.V.A.'s Executive Director Denny Kobayashi said, "This is an exceptionally generous donation from Princess Tours. It speaks highly of their ongoing commitment to Dawson City and the Yukon."

In making the announcement, Tom Dow, Vice-President of Public Affairs for Princess Tours said "We are proud to support the 6 th Annual Centennial Ball in Dawson City, and to participate in Yukon's Gold Rush Centennial celebrations."

Klondike Centennial Society Chairperson Jon Magnusson was thrilled to hear about the donation from Princess Tours.

"The theme of the 1998 Centennial Ball is to recreate the Paris of the North in Dawson City. The Princess donation will definitely enhance the event which we expect will sell out," said Magnusson.

Princess Tours offers Yukon Gold Rush Cruisetours and Alaska Escorted Cruisetours that include stops in Dawson City and Whitehorse.

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Traditions Lighten the Season

by Dan Davidson
Sun staff


The ritual candle lighting fills the darkened church with a softer glow. Christmas Pageant photo by Fr John Tyrell

Traditions are events which occur from year to year. Living traditions are events which, while preserving the spirit of the original, change a bit to suit the circumstances. The annual Christmas Pageant at Saint Paul's Anglican Church is a bit of both.

Over two hundred people turned out for this year's Christmas Eve event, a packed congregation which filled the pews and most of the aisles. The choir loft, too, was overflowing, with one of the largest choirs ever. The inter-church group had begun bi-weekly rehearsals a month earlier to be ready for this evening, at which it presented three anthems and led the rest of the singing.

Also planned in advance was the slide show presentation of the Christmas story, shot during a busy Saturday much earlier in the fall at various locations in the Klondike Valley, and transformed this year into an aboriginal version of the well known tale.

This year the choir decided to enter via the new ramp at the front of the sanctuary, dispensing with the usual crowding and jostling near the front doors.

The wood stove more than sufficed to keep the building comfortable in the mild weather; in fact, some were seen to shed coats and heard to remark that it was too warm that evening.

The official chores for the evening were shared by the clergy of the four Christian churches. Father Tim Coonen welcomed the congregation and operated the slide show. Pastor Ian Nyland read the scriptures, while Pastor Robert Thompson brought the message, summed up in the phrase that "Jesus is the reason for the season!" Father John Tyrell handled the prayers.

Following the service in the church, some of the congregation retired to the Richard Martin Chapel next door for fellowship, Christmas goodies and the "bloopers" version of the slide show.

This article would have been in the last issue but for the unfortunate fire at Peabody's, which shut down their photo developing equipment and delayed the availability of these pictures.

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Editorial: Dawson to Ottawa: Wake Up!

by Dan Davidson
Sun staff

Now that we've passed through the energy crisis (see various articles and letters in this issue), it's time to focus our sights firmly on the next disaster looming on the horizon: the spring melt.

Why am I talking about spring in January? Because this is the time of the year when the minions of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs ought to be out there in the wilderness measuring the snow pack on the mountains and making projections as to what we might expect when the whole mess starts to let go in late April.

Last spring it was just about a month before break-up when we all learned for certain that the annual snow survey and flood watching program was gone, dried up and blown away with the last gasps of the Arctic Environmental Strategy which had been funding it for the last five years of its life.

Last year, at least, the federal department had enough cash to do the mid-winter monitoring - but then they were going to cop out of the job of interpreting the data and helping to fund the annual river watch during the peak season. Public and political reaction shamed them into finding enough funding to extend the program to the end of the last flood season, but that's it.

This year DIAND doesn't even have the money to get out and collect the data, a task which should start very soon, according to the interviews I had with officials last May. Before that can happen someone has to find a couple of hundred thousand dollars to pay for the data collection and the people with sufficient skills to carry out the task.

The former head of DIAND in the Yukon made it clear last year that his department would not have the money, and the current head is making the same sort of noises.

It's too late now to argue that the program should never have been cut from the department's budget six years ago, that it should never have spent five years being funded by a make-shift grant program with a finite life span.

All these things happened, and most of us didn't notice them at the time. What should be argued is that this territory deserves the same treatment as Manitoba, where it has recently been said that more flood monitoring and planning is required to avoid disasters like the one last June.

In the Yukon nearly all our population centers are located on flood plains and have the potential to be flooded in any given year. Within this last few years there have been alerts in Ross River, Old Crow, Mayo and Dawson. The annual potential for danger is always there, and the federal government should be prepared to deal with this in a serious way. Right now, it's not.

Time to start writing letters again, folks. Big Brother needs a wake-up call.

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